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Forward Forever News - Issue #16

Forward Forever News - Issue #16

Hey, what's that up there? A fresh new look for the FF brand identity! Oh, and also a brand new website to showcase our team, work and insights to the world. Pretty cool, eh?

We haven't only been focusing on picking trendy new colors, luckily. There has been a wealth of content and news released from the FF crew in Oct-Nov time frame, which we'll summarize in this final newsletter of the year 2023.

📝Blog post from Team FF

We've published in total 13 new blog posts in the Insights section of our new website since the last newsletter issue. Whew!

Timo Pertilä shared his observations on what are the Top 8 most common mistakes for new Power Apps makers who are starting to learn how to create canvas apps. If you want to avoid these pitfalls, be sure to study these lessons.

Learning from mistakes is not only important for new app makers. Jukka Niiranen wrote a long, insightful blog post about governance issues that were discovered in one Power Platform solution built by professional developers. Read the story to understand what practical implications there can be if a proper governance model and processes are not in place.

Microsoft recently evolved their Power Virtual Agents product to become a part of the Microsoft Copilot Studio, to expose the PVA maker features to all MS and custom copilots. As we await for broader availability of built-in Copilots, Ferran Chopo's article will help you understand the generative AI features that you can already use for designing your chatbot experiences. Get started with your AI bot today!

Here are the other new blog topics that our team has recently dived into:

  • What plans does MS have for Power Platform's future, other than just more Copilots? Ferran wrote a summary of the latest announcements from Microsoft Ignite conference.
  • When it comes to AI, the Power Platform toolkit is already full of interesting capabilities. Timo walked us through the current state of AI in Power Platform tools, both in Power Apps (part 1) as well as Power Automate (part 2).
  • Timo explained what benefits Dataverse can provide to canvas app makers when using calculated and rollup columns instead of building the logic in Power Apps client side. See his example scenario.
  • If you need to visualize event data with start and end dates, what's the best tool in Power Platform to do this? As always, the answer is "it depends". Read Timo's review of each visualization option and decide for yourself.
  • Our all-time most popular blog post has been about how to use an API with Power Automate (just Google it). Now, Timo wrote instructions for the next step in the citizen developer learning journey, which is about using an API with Entra ID authentication.
  • Authentication is also important to understand when it comes to triggering a Power Automate cloud flow from a HTTP request. Ferran demonstrates the new OAuth based security features available for your flows.
  • Sometimes you'd really need to know what was the "before" value for a record in Dataverse when it is deleted or edited. Timo shows how to use this in your Power Automate flows, leveraging the custom actions feature from the classic side of Power Platform.
  • Got data that you need to combine from multiple Excel sheets into one SharePoint list? Timo explored the three options for Power Automate and found the perfect solution!
  • If you care about your canvas Power Apps performance, you shouldn't use the App.OnStart property. Timo shows you the modern way to load data into the app and set the right start screen.

👩‍🏫 Power Platform micro degree launched

As part of Microsoft's Skills for Jobs initiative, Forward Forever has contributed to the creation of a free Power Platform study program. The scope of this academic-level degree with four courses is 8 ECTS credits, yet it's not limited only to university students. Anyone interested in improving their working life skills through low-code applications and automations is welcome to participate!

After completing the program, you’ll be well equipped to tackle the official Microsoft certificate exams (PL-100, PL-200, PL-600 and PL-900). You’ll also receive shareable badges to show of your new skills on LinkedIn. The self-paced course is available on Edukamu study platform. Learn more about the study program and sign up to take the first steps towards becoming a Power Platform expert.

🥳 New members in Team Forward Forever

We're excited to introduce three new team members!

  • Aleksi Karhukorpi: A former financial controller with a passion for data, automation, and visualization. Experienced in Power BI analytics and Power Platform applications.
  • Milla Jokinen: A curious and adventurous Power Platform expert who loves UI design and new tools like the AI Builder. Skilled in Power Apps, Power Automate, and Copilot Studio (formerly PVA).
  • Ville Heikkinen: A seasoned Power Platform developer who enjoys integrating external data sources and delivering innovative solutions. Motivated to help others achieve excellence.

🎤 Community events

In February 2024 it's time for the second annual Cloud Technology Townhall Tallinn event in Estonia. Covering Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365 and Azure, CTTT24 is surely one of the most important Microsoft conferences in this corner of Europe.

Team FF will have two sessions on the CTTT24 event agenda:

  • Lasse Teeriaho will be presenting how to unlock external access to Power Platform.
  • Antti Pajunen and Jukka Niiranen will talk about creating a Power Platform governance framework.

Read more & reserve your spot in the front row!

💼 Open positions

Our trainee program is currently looking for applications to the class of 2024. If you know students in Finland who are finishing up their studies, interested in low-code and looking for a career opportunity in it - make sure they see this. Thank you!